Welcome back. I don't really think about Riley much these days. In fact, it usually only crosses my mind in 3 different situations.
1. When I check on Ben at night. I still count his breaths and check his pulse. I'm not sure if I will ever be able to quit.
2. When I get the reminder phone call that Ben has a check-up.
3. When I see the kid's show "Imagination Movers."
Today was a very important day in our Riley journey. Ben got his routine EKG and then we met with his heart doctor. He looked at me with his wise, wonderful eyes and said, "Well, since he has done so well these 4 years, you don't have to come visit us anymore." We were free! We were done! I was floating on air as we walked out of that office today.
To say goodbye to our wonderful Riley, Ben and I walked around and I told him about all of the memories we had. We visited the gift shops, rode the glass elevator, and talked about the huge stuffed animals in the lobby.
And ran straight into the blue suits.
I tried to keep my eyes on their faces. I tried to will myself not to look down. But I couldn't. I gazed down at the tiny, plastic isolette they were huddled around. I saw the tiny hands, the tiny feet, the tubes, the machines.
This is someone else's day 1.
Somewhere there is another mother on her way to Riley to meet her child just like I did 4 years ago. I know how scared she is. I know what lies ahead for her and her family. I know how broken she feels at this exact moment.
"Mama, why are you crying?" my sweet Ben asks. "It's just something Mamas do sometimes, my love."
I prayed the whole way home for that Mama. For her child. For their family. I pray that they will grasp onto God and let Him carry them through like he did us.
If you are ever looking for a charity to donate to, Riley is wonderful. They are saving lives today. Everyday. It's easy to forget them when life is back to normal and easy. Everyday there is someone else who is beginning their Riley journey. I'm so thankful ours is finished. Now it is time to ask, "How can I help?"